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I do not belief individuals who don’t love dogs

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Gracie and Lola make me smile each single day with out exception

July 10, 2024 1:21 pm(Updated 1:59 pm)

We’ve all had just a few days to digest the election outcomes and I feel we are able to all agree on who the winners have been – dogs.

Dogs, by a landslide.

The posting of images of our four-legged family members exterior polling stations has turn out to be as a lot of an election norm as these tiny pencils you employ to attract a cross by the title of your chosen candidate on the poll paper.

I’m completely satisfied to verify I used to be an early adopter of the development and my pictures with my very own dogs return a number of prime ministers.

Gracie and Lola – our two cocker spaniels – sit dutifully exterior the village corridor whereas my husband takes photos of us. I actually suppose they’ve accomplished it so usually that they know the drill.

On election day itself the media isn’t allowed to debate something political so #dogsatpollingstations pictures usually are not solely divine to have a look at, they fill a reporting hole for us journalists.

Victoria with Gracie and Lola

It is but another excuse to like dogs – and this yr they have been joined on-line by cats, a tortoise and – at one polling station in Dorset – a snake. And truthful play to all these different animals, however they only aren’t dogs.

I can inform when somebody doesn’t perceive why we love our dogs a lot. I shall be within the park with Gracie and Lola and can find yourself chatting to somebody who will say “it’s like they are a member of the family” and at that time I’ve to politely right them. There’s no “like” about it – they’re each bit members of our household, thanks. Why do you suppose I all the time signal their names on my Christmas playing cards together with my sons’?

I used to be lucky to develop up in a household the place we all the time had dogs and I’ve vivid reminiscences of my late and much-missed stepdad out within the backyard in all weathers taking our two Dalmatians and our spaniel Molly for his or her late evening trot around the backyard. I can solely think about what he would have stated if somebody had instructed they have been “like” a member of the household.

The actor and comic Bill Murray as soon as stated that he’s suspicious of people that don’t like dogs, however he all the time trusts a canine when it doesn’t like a person. I agree with him, and I can see too why Ricky Gervais says dogs are “better people than people”.

To begin with, dogs make you happier. Gracie and Lola make me smile each single day with out exception. Even once I come home late at evening after a Newsnight shift and it’s raining and I’m nonetheless taking part in over an interview in my thoughts, they’re overjoyed to see me. Even if they only wagged their tails I’d be completely satisfied – however no, they need to welcome me home by bringing me a “present” as a result of that’s how considerate they’re, even when that present is a sock from the wash basket, or a squeaky canine toy cheeseburger. I do know it comes from the guts. There are few issues in my day extra pleasurable than sitting down on the ground in my quiet kitchen at half previous midnight with a cup of tea and a canine both aspect of me.

But in fact our public love affair with dogs is just one aspect of the story. We delight ourselves as a rustic that, because the cliché goes, is a “nation of animal lovers”.

An further 3.2 million pets have been introduced into British households throughout the pandemic. They have been seen – rightly – as being a remedy for “lockdown loneliness” however for some, the “pandemic puppy” didn’t work out and, post-Covid, there was a spike in pets being deserted.

It’s nonetheless occurring now.

The RSPCA says that final yr throughout England and Wales they acquired experiences of 16,000 deserted dogs, and a rescue centre in Carmarthenshire was quoted by the BBC as “bursting at the seams” after they took in 400 dogs in June alone.

Add to that the cost of dwelling disaster and the rise of unscrupulous breeders and the “nation of animal lovers” tag begins to look a bit skinny.

Obviously I’m not suggesting that the brand new PM needs to be pondering of appointing a “Minister for Dogs” – he has sufficient on his plate as it’s, however maybe our four-legged pals ought to have a basket beneath the highest desk as these statistics are appalling.

Perhaps we have to get the message out {that a} canine is not only for polling day, or an election interval, and even the time period of a parliament, however for all times. I feel we are able to all vote for that.

Victoria Derbyshire is a journalist, broadcaster and host of BBC Newsnight and Ukrainecast

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